It has been eight years and soldiers are still heavily complaining about wearing of the beret. Since I wore the (maroon) beret for eight years as an airborne soldier, I was more than familiar with its shortcomings when it was made the new headgear in 2001. I enjoyed wearing it as a sign of distinction and esprit-de-corps for those years, but even in the field we quickly went to the patrol cap. In Alaska we always had one ear freeze, and only the tip of the other maybe warm (if we pulled it down far enough). We cut out almost all the cardboard inside the front, we shaved them down to almost nothing, we were always pulling on them. I will always cherish those years on jump status and wearing of the maroon beret.
However it was not a practical headgear. When we went to it Army-wide in 2001, I predicted many of the issues mentioned in the above article, but not the ACU related complaint. I must say this is the first time I have heard that one, and it is a great argument. The Army has changed the ACU coloring and design a few times since coming out with it to make sure that all parts of it and all accessories matched one of the 3 colors of the uniform. But we still have a black beret that sticks out like a “tird floating in a punch-bowl”.
Let hope the complaints are heard and the wear of the black beret every day is changed soon.